Orkney hoping OPMs can build on promising 2019-20 season

OPMs head coach Rick Orkney is hoping the club can build on a highly-promising 2019-20 campaign.

The Old Boys finished third in Devon One behind unbeaten Withycombe and Tamar Saracens in Orkney’s first season as head coach. That was a big improvement on the year before when the club finished third from bottom.

Orkney has now committed to staying with the Elburton-based club as they prepare for a new-look 14-team Devon One in 2020-21, with Exeter Athletic and South Molton coming down from the Cornwall/Devon League and Salcombe coming up from the Devon Merit Table.

“I said as long as things went to plan I would give it two years and then look at it again,” said Orkney.

“Let’s see how we get on. If they want me to stay on after two years then I will make a decision then, but if they want to try something different then they can. I am pretty relaxed about it really.

“We had a really good year last season and ended up finishing third.

“We were third from bottom the year before so it’s a great improvement. It’s just a question of whether we can keep it going

“We were brought back down to earth a bit with that big defeat to Plymstock Albion Oaks (at Ivybridge in the Lockie Cup). Oaks are a good side and they were a lot better than us on the day.”

Orkney is pretty hopeful of keeping most of last season’s squad, while also looking to add to it.

Fellow coaches Duncan Campbell and Warren Dunkley have also committed to next season, while Billy Garratt is set to stay on as first team captain.

“We have lost a couple of players who were going anyway at the end of the season – our big Tongan centre Toetu’u Vaka was returning home and our young centre Paul Bright has got a job up in London,” said Orkney. “But other than that, I think most people are still on board. I have spoken to most and they are doing quite a bit of training as well, which is good.

“They are keeping themselves fit so I am hoping we can hit the ground running when we do get back.

“We are still looking for more players. It is good for competition and good for our Jesters (second team) to keep numbers strong.

“We did get a third team out on a few occasions this year and not many clubs can say that.

“We are hoping to keep the third team going. There are a few ex-first team boys who have semi-retired and they are thinking about coming back and playing a bit of third team rugby.

“If we can recruit a few more boys we will be able to get that third team out more often. If anyone is interested in joining the club, they can email me at”

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